News Views: A national betrayal

Federal government argues Fish Act has become too broad over the years.

Maple Ridge council took a courageous step recently with its analysis of changes to the Fisheries Act.

After forming a task force of local experts, the district to tried to make sense of the changes, asking for a scientific explanation, background details, government experts, anything that would make sense of and justify such sweeping changes, such a major evisceration of the Fisheries Act.

Its efforts were for nothing, and instead the questions remain: why remove protection of fish habitat and instead protect only cultural, recreational or commercial fisheries?

The involvement of our local MP, Randy Kamp, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries minister, didn’t help much either.

Kamp, the loyal and obedient servant of the cabinet bosses, did nothing to help the task force, only helping impose Ottawa’s environmental desecration.

The government argues the act has become too broad over the years and needs to focus on fisheries only.

That is a weak excuse for a relentless attack on the environment and on an act that’s been working well, by an autocratic, secretive government.

The government has yet to say who will actually define what is a cultural, recreational or sports fishery.

The end result is that the millions of rivulets, brooks, springs and creeks – where a link can’t be found to a big salmon run – are now without federal protection.

Now, any developer, builder, polluter or pipeline company can invade those streams, ruin the habitat, which we know feed major fisheries. And rest assured, there will be no action from the federal government.

In its resolutions passed recently, Maple Ridge addresses the above issues and calls for the reinstatement of fish habitat protection, and asks for the support of other B.C. cities.

Maple Ridge council, led by Cheryl Ashlie and Al Hogarth, and opposed only by Michael Morden, have shown strength in standing up for their communities by passing such resolutions.

They had no choice, however, because when it comes to environmental protection, our federal government has abandoned us.

 

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News